ArtsUNC Charlotte

Charlotte Professor CarlosAlexis Cruz Earns Knight Foundation Art Fund

The cutting-edge urban circus venture known as the Nouveau Sud Project, spearheaded by Associate Professor of Theatre CarlosAlexis Cruz, has earned recognition as a recipient of the 2023 Knight Art + Tech Expansion Fund courtesy of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This fund, initiated by the Knight Foundation, is designed to fortify the lasting vitality of Charlotte’s artistic community by equipping practitioners with the necessary tools to seamlessly integrate technology into their creative endeavors.

In the vibrant landscape of Charlotte’s arts scene, Nouveau Sud stands out as one of the 22 local artists and arts organizations chosen to receive financial support in 2023. Cruz, the visionary behind Nouveau Sud, kickstarted the project in 2014 with a McColl Award from the Arts & Science Council. Since its inaugural production in April 2016, Nouveau Sud has consistently staged performances addressing crucial social justice themes, notably focusing on immigration, race, and ethnicity. The troupe gained further acclaim in 2020 when it secured the prestigious Creation and Touring Grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) for its powerful production, “La Bestia.”

The Art + Tech Expansion Fund will empower Cruz to enhance Nouveau Sud’s capabilities through a three-pronged approach. This includes the implementation of a robust social media strategy, the acquisition of equipment and storage solutions for documentation and online content creation, and the initiation of a rebranding campaign for the urban circus company.

Cruz envisions the fund’s impact on Nouveau Sud, stating, “Our plan is to bring in a social media/marketing manager to chart our growth and narrate the diverse facets of our work strategically. We aim to distinctly showcase our various ventures, including our upcoming national touring show, ‘La Bestia,’ the development of our new production, ‘Violence,’ and our community engagement initiatives integral to our ensemble’s mission.”

In addition to his role in leading Nouveau Sud, Cruz imparts his expertise in physical theatre, encompassing circus arts, at UNC Charlotte. He also serves as the president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Notably, Cruz was honored earlier this year with the 2023 Bonnie E. Cone Professorship in Civic Engagement, an annual accolade recognizing a tenured faculty member whose teaching and research embody the university’s commitment to civic involvement, profoundly impacting the relationship between UNC Charlotte and the broader community.

The Nouveau Sud family, affectionately referred to as the “Suds,” includes UNC Charlotte alumni among its members. To delve deeper into Nouveau Sud and their acclaimed production, “La Bestia,” explore their online feature for an immersive experience.

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